This one is simple. We have done this one time, now we want to do it again. Our Indiana 340-36 Adventure took us through some amazing roads in southern Indiana to camp one night and ride back the next day. This trip, the Kentuckiana 395-36 looks to build on the successes of that trip and duplicate all the goodness, and maybe even find better roads?
There isn’t much difference in the concept here, but there are just a couple small tweaks to the base level planning that might make this a slightly different adventure.
Pushing the daily “Miles and Hours” limits
First, it is a little longer. Much like Indiana 340-36 last fall, this trip serves double duty… first and foremost it is about having a great time – but it also is preparation and testing to hone our plans for the bigger Pikes Peak 1440-168. As we have refined the route to Pikes Peak, it continues to work out with at least a few day’s distance hitting just over the 200 mile range. So for this trip, we want to get as close to the same distance and similar road types to make sure covering 200 miles in one day is realistic for future rides.
The route is strategically planned to twist back and forth and create many opportunities for “short-cuts”. If we find that the distance is just too much for the day, there are several opportunities to take a more direct route and shave “miles and hours” off the trip.
In fact, the destination for camp is only a quick 2 hour drive from “home” by the fastest route on Google. We’re planning on the “adventure route” taking 6 to 7 hours of riding and close to 10 hours to complete. This deliberate doubling-back-route-plan not only makes many opportunities to short cut, it also make it simple for folks that aren’t riding on two wheels and don’t feel like driving on the route, to join in for a simple camp night.
Getting used to the “rockies”
Second, we have -NOT- planned the route to avoid gravel roads. Again, as we have worked on the Pikes Peak adventure route, it has become apparent there is simply no way to avoid dirt / gravel roads without ending up on a highly traveled, high speed sections of highway (a key to our strategy for the adventure was to avoid such roads). So, embracing the concept that (sooner or later) the style of riding we are pursuing will end up on an unpaved road, this time around we didn’t shy away from a section of the road when the pavement ended. We didn’t seek out gravel, but we did not alter the route to avoid gravel as we did when planning the Indiana 340-36. We simply tried to seek out the very best roads we could find… and they are truly amazing twisted paths through some of the most remote areas in the region.
It is surprising, when you really start navigating the back roads in northern Kentucky and Southern Indiana just how few gravel roads are left. Sure, they are out there, but not nearly as much as you might expect (or remember from years gone by).
Current estimations (made by looking at Google satellite / street view images) gives only about 5 miles of gravel road riding on Friday’s route, broken up in three small 1 or 2 mile sections. Saturday, in Indiana, we see more (around 30 miles total) of gravel roads divided among 8 segments. Most of these sections are only 2 to 3 miles in length with the longest continuous section of gravel being 7.2 miles. Again the design of the route will provide opportunities to easily bypass a few of the longer sections of gravel roads if anyone wants to keep off the rocks.
This “Otter” be a great place to camp!
Our camp for Friday night will be at Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area Campground. As mentioned previously, it is only a 100 mile / 2 hour drive straight to the park from the Evansville / Newburgh area. So anyone who wants to join the camp night is welcome to drive over anytime on Friday. The “official-route-takers” will leave camp at 8AM on Saturday since we are taking a longer route home than last time. But if anyone wants to stay in the park for the day and skip the route home (it is a bueaty) there seems to be a good deal to see and do at the Otter Creek Park.
Here are some screen captures from Google Maps of the route… I don’t think these will do it justice!